Chandraguptha Thenuwara: Chandraguptha Thenuwara
Artist cum activist Chandraguptha Thenuwara has staged a self-curated exhibition at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery annually since 2006. The series of works he began creating in response to the change in the cityscape of Colombo during the war began in 1997 with his Barrelism series; in reference to barrels formerly used in the process of constructing roads began to obstruct them. This paronomasia thereafter consistently appeared in Thenuwara’s exhibitions, presenting the social and political situation of Sri Lanka even during a time when such freedom of speech was inhibited. From his Barrelism series he continued to Camouflage, Wall of Death, Neo-Barrelism, Dhammapada, Post-Barrelism, Black paintings, Vigil, the Monument, Beautification and, most recently in 2014, Monotony. These exhibitions courageously and publicly presented his views of Sri Lanka during the war and specifically during the Rajapaksa regime.